Quotation by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Conscience ... lacks the power to externalize itself, the power to make itself into a Thing, and to endure being. It lives in dread of besmirching the splendour of its inner being by action and an existence; and in order to preserve the purity of its heart, it flees from contact with the actual world, and persists in its self-willed impotence to renounce its self which is reduced to the extreme of ultimate abstraction, and to give itself a substantial existence, or to transform its thought into being.... Its activity is a yearning which merely loses itself as consciousness becomes an object devoid of substance, and, rising above this loss, and falling back on itself, finds itself only as a lost soul. In this transparent purity of its moments, an unhappy, so-called 'beautiful soul,' its light dies away within it, and it vanishes like a shapeless vapour that dissolves into thin air.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831), German philosopher. Phenomenology of Spirit, section C(BB): "Spirit," par. 658, pp. 399-400, Oxford University Press (1977).
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